Marion Chamber Music Society free chamber concerts in Ocala

 

 

chamber concerts ocala fl

 

free concert series

 

History of the Marion Chamber Music Society

The Marion Chamber Music Society is truly a homegrown Ocala organization. It was founded in 1982 by Dr. Glenn and Mae Stewart, two fine quality amateur musicians. It was their desire to perform for their friends and others interested in classical music involving small groups of musicians. The idea grew to include other performing musicians and finally expanded to the idea of giving concerts for the public benefit.

The first concert was held in 1982 in the Blessed Trinity Church sanctuary. Early attendance confirmed interest in the more intimate setting of the small chamber music groupings. From its inception, the nascent group declared that admission to the performances would never be charged; instead the group would operate on contributions and donations only. Although the group has greatly expanded from local talent to include internationally recognized artists, the Marion Chamber Music Society has operated for 27 years debt-free and maintained its ability to pay for the performers solely on contributions and donations.

In 1983, still in its first season, the Marion Chamber Music Society filed for recognition as a corporation in the State of Florida. In 1988, the Marion Chamber Music Society was certified as a Not-for-Profit organization [501©(3)] by the IRS, and has renewed this status annually.

The first few years of performances typically included local talent, like Dr. and Mrs. Stewart, Mr. Barney Janiak, Cy Dam and Mr. Norman Slade (who still performs on occasion). An early goal focused on expanding and importing good quality amateur and professional performers, to increase the chamber repertoire and concert experiences. Over the years, musicians throughout the United States (and on rare occasions, Europe) but primarily from the state of Florida have performed for the Marion Chamber Music Society. This has included solo performances and groups of up to 18; typically, however, it is a three to five member ensemble. Music has ranged from Renaissance to the Contemporary and featured instruments as old as the harpsichord, as esoteric as the bassett horn, and as contemporary and unusual as the banjo.

The Marion Chamber Music Society continued to use various church sanctuaries over the years. In the 2006-2007 season, the desire to grow our audience led to a decision to permanently locate at Queen of Peace Church. The additional room provided by the new venue coupled with aggressive advertising led to an audience increase of more than double the number of previous years. Revenue from donations and contributions also more than doubled. During this time, five new members of diverse strengths and talents were added to the Board of Directors, ensuring solid footing in the arts community of Marion County.

 

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